Updated: May 12, 2021
I will admit to being a fan of eggplant, both grilled or broiled are my favorite. The combination of soft charred flesh and nutty-tart stuffing is delicious.
Moorish cuisine is a combination of Spanish cooking technique with North African spices and ingredients. The muslim invaders left their mark on Spanish culture, architecture (Alhambra), dance (Flamenco) and cuisine. This book brings together recipes from across the Mediterranean in creative recipes that use these spices and ingredients to perfection.
These charred and smoky eggplants are stuffed with the perfect blend of nutty almonds, tart preserved lemons and spices and then baked again to finish the dish. It makes for an amazing appetizer, served in the foil, with bread or pita bread. I will admit, this is a new flavor profile, most folks that tried this were not the biggest of fans. However, I thought that the flavor was unique and creative.
This is an amazing cookbook. It features a collection of outstanding recipes from the Moorish influence in Spanish cooking. Each recipe that I have tried is spectacular, full of wonderful flavors and unique combinations of ingredients, like this recipe. I love this cookbook and highly recommend it to those looking for unusual dishes. I have Ben Tishs' fabulous restaurant, Norma, in London, on my bucket list, I cannot wait to start traveling again!
For moe recipe from this cookbook, click here.
For the stuffing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup almonds, lightly toasted and ground
A handful parsley
15 green olives, pitted
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons EVOO
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 firm small eggplants, or 12 baby eggplant
Whipped yogurt (avoid for vegan version)
Bread or naan
Heat the oven to 375° F.
Add the olive oil to a pan and sauté the garlic on medium heat till lightly golden, about 1 minutes. Add the fenugreek seeds and fry for an additional 30 seconds. Ad the breadcrumbs and ground almonds and sauté till lightly golden, about 1 additional minute. Cool.
Add the sautéed mix with the rest of the ingredients, except eggplants, yogurt and bread, to a small blender and purée into a fine paste. The paste should be very thick, add a touch of water as needed. Set aside.
Prepare the eggplants by poking some holes in them with a fork. Char ever direct heat till the skins are burnt all over and the eggplants are getting soft. You can do this on a grill or over the stove using metaltongs or a metal skewer.
Cut a slit in the eggplants about 2/3 the way into the flesh, not all the way through. Stuff as much of the paste into the slit, evenly distributing the paste between all eggplants. Wrap each eggplant individually (or in pairs if very small) in foil and bake for 30-40 minutes till the eggplants are soft and mushy. The cooking times will vary with the size of the eggplants. Open one to check if they are done before removing them all. Allow them to cool in the foil.
I like to serve these in the foil, unwrapping them at the table and having the whipped yogurt on the side. Enjoy loaded on bread or naan.